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Berlin: Artsploitation Takes ‘3 Beauties’ For North America

Media Luna-sold comedy riffs off the Venezuela’s femme physique fixation

Notching up a European Film Market buy, Raymond Murray’s Artsploitation Films has acquired North American rights to “3 Beauties,” a satire skewing a hot-button Venezuela’s beauty pageant obsession, as plastic surgery rate as a hot-button topic around the world.

Artsploitation plans an extensive festival run, then a U.S. theatrical release in the summer of 2015 and a DVD and VOD bow in the fall. Sold by Media Luna New Films, Venezuelan Carlos Caridad Montero’s feature debut, “3 Beauties” world premiered at October’s Sao Paulo Festival, then made its market premiere at Berlin’s European Film Market, where Murray, Artsploitation prexy, and Ida Martins, president of Media Luna, sealed the U.S. and Canada distribution deal.

Set in Venezuela, a country with 600 annual beauty contests, near two a day, including Miss Tanguita, for under-10s, “34 Beauties” features a single mother, Perla, who is hell-bent on turning one of her two daughters into a beauty queen and weighs in with a battery of axioms: “A plastic flower never wilts,” Perla notes manically when one daughter hesitates about a breast and butt job. “A Miss has no friends,” she says on another occasion.

That comment leaves hostages to fortune as the teens compete against each other at a pageant, and Perla finds that winning at all costs has its price.

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Caridad-Montero, who is now in post on his second feature, “Beyond Silicon Valley,” a documentary which won 2010’s Morelia Lab and 2011’s Arte Award at DocBuenos Aires, calls “3 Beauties” an unsettling dark comedy.”

Murray said: “’’3 Beauties’ is a laugh-out-loud gem!: Funny, bitingly insightful, and a pleasure from beginning to end. While not our typical genre offering, I love this film and am sure we will find an wide, appreciative audience for this comedy.”

“Artsploitation is a great match for ‘3 Beauties’ in the U.S.,” Martins added. “Obsession with beauty and plastic surgery is a hot universal topic and this film depicts it with a strong intelligent sense of humor. Raymond Murray will certainly build the release strategy, with the sensibility the film merits.”

“3 Beauties” adds to Artsploitation’s North American pick-ups announced at or out of Berlin, which also include Euro horror pic “Cub,” from Kinology, and Chilean Patricio Valladares’ action-comedy “Toro Loco: Bloodthirsty.”

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